The Dell Alienware AW2521HF is a gaming monitor with impressive performance. It is a super-smooth gaming monitor for high refresh rate gaming, and it has exceptional motion handling for fast-paced games.
It is a bigger sibling of Alienware AW2720HF, which is also an excellent option for gaming. But in this review, we will be covering specifically the 24″ model, which is AW2521HF.
If you have set a sub $300 budget, this is a great gaming monitor to consider, the 240Hz refresh rate clubbed with a purposeful design, and rich connectivity makes it a complete package for gamers. It checks all the boxes, but there are some negatives which we will discuss ahead, and we will also recommend alternatives for that.
- IPS Technology
- 240Hz Refresh Rate
- 1ms Response Time
- 99% sRGB Coverage
- FreeSync / G-Sync
Alienware AW2521HFAlienware AW2521HF
The Alienware AW2521HF is great for productivity because of its IPS screen and high peak brightness, but some might feel the 24″ screen too small for multi-tasking.
It is excellent for gaming, and the overall gaming experience feels super smooth. It is ideal for entertainment and media creation purposes but unsuitable for professionals because it lacks HDR support and does not have a wide color gamut coverage.
Design & Ergonomics
Monitor Type – Flat
Width – 55.6 cm
Height – 42.1 cm
The Alienware AW2521HF looks like a proper gaming monitor from the front, unlike the monitors from LG that have an identical appearance as their productivity monitors. It has thin bezels, and the bottom bezel has the Alienware branding in the middle.
It is finished in black, so it suits most desks and spaces, and it looks like an all-screen monitor with no bezels from a distance, so that is great.
VESA Mount – 100x100mm
Ports Position – Down-Facing
The back of the AW2521HF looks beautiful as it has customisable RGB lights on the stand with the Alienware logo on the top left corner that glows up. There is ’25’ written in big fonts that portray the model because it also comes with a 27″ display.
There are vents on the back for air to pass through so that the screen does not heat up to deliver the optimum performance.
The buttons for OSD are on the right, and the ports are down-facing. There is a cover over ports to hide the clutter, giving the monitor a clean look from the back.
Thinness – 0.7 cm
The bezels on the AW2521HF are thin like most modern monitors. However, the bottom is quite thick because the Alienware branding goes there, but that should not hinder because only the side bezels matter if you want a continuous look in multiple monitor setups.
Build Quality 8/10
Weight – 15.81 lbs
The build quality of Alienware AW2521HF is excellent. It is made of good quality plastic, and the parts are very well put together. There are no gaps, and the wobble is significantly less than other monitors.
Removable Stand – Yes
Cable Management – Yes
The stand gives it a gaming look. It is a V-style stand, and it offers an excellent range of ergonomics for the best comfort. It does not take much space on the desk, leaving room for putting other stuff in front of the monitor.
However, the stand is quite deep, so the display stays around 22cm away from the wall on the back.
The stand holds the monitor very well, and it is highly stable, resulting in significantly less wobble. It has AlienFX RGB lights, and there is also a cutout for cable management.
Tilt – 21° Backward, 5° Forward
Swivel – 20° Left, 20° Right
Height – 13 cm
Pivot – Both Ways
The Alienware AW2521HF has a full range of ergonomics. It has a decent tilt and height range, but the swivel range is a bit narrow. It portraits from both sides for vertical orientation, so that is excellent.
Display & Performance
Panel Type – IPS
Panel Size – 24.5″
The Alienware AW2521HF boasts a 24.5″ IPS panel on the front. It is decently sized for gaming and most purposes, but professionals might feel it small because larger productivity monitors are available at a similar price.
Screen Clarity 7/10
Resolution – FHD | 1920 x 1080 pixels
PPI – 89 PPI
The screen clarity is decent due to the small screen resulting in a tight arrangement of pixels. The visuals appear clear, and the texts appear crisp.
It is highly suitable for gaming because the 1080p puts less stress on the GPU, resulting in high frame rates. However, it is not the best fit for multitasking at this price because it lacks screen space.
Peak Brightness – 400-nits
The panel on the AW2521HF has a 400-nits peak brightness, which is higher than most monitors at this price point. It is excellent at reflection and glare handling and suits well-lit environments.
Placing this monitor in front of a light or a window should not create a problem because there is an anti-glare coating on the front, and the high peak brightness should eliminate the obstructions without any difficulty.
Contrast Ratio – 1000:1
The static contrast ratio is mediocre on the Alienware AW2521HF, and it is common in IPS panels resulting in average dark-room performance.
The blacks might appear gray in dark environments, so it is not suitable for color-critical tasks in the dark. It has decent gray uniformity across the screen, but the black uniformity takes a huge hit here.
Viewing Angles 10/10
Viewing Angles (H/V) – 178°/178°
As you would expect from an IPS panel, the viewing angles are wide. The colors do not shift their original form when looking from the sides or top and bottom making it great for mounting this monitor at a height on the wall.
Color Coverage 7/10
sRGB – 99%
This color coverage is basic with IPS panels, nothing extraordinary here. It is excellent with colors, though, they pop, and the color reproductions are rich, but it does not cover a wide color gamut making this panel not the best fit for printing and photography.
Response Time 9/10
Minimum Response Time – 1ms
The Alienware AW2521HF has excellent motion handling capability, thanks to its 1ms response time. There are various options for setting response time, and at the fastest level, there are visible artifacts, so we recommend configuring the response time to the middle setting.
Refresh Rate 10/10
Refresh Rate – 48Hz to 240Hz
It has a very wide refresh rate range making it highly suitable for most consoles and PC gaming. The motion handling is fantastic at 60Hz refresh rate, but as you go above, there is some minor smearing at times that is unnoticeable most of the time, and it should not hinder your gaming experience.
Black Frame Insertion – N/A
Our current contender does not have backlight strobing technology for reducing motion blur. If you are looking for a monitor with the same, check out the ASUS VG248QG.
HDR Compliant– N/A
This gaming monitor does not have HDR compatibility and certification.
AlienFX RGB Lights
The Alienware AW2521 boasts RGB lights on the stand, and the Alienware logo on the back also glows up. The lights are controllable from the AlienFX software in the monitor, and it has plenty of options for customization.
Variable Refresh Rate
AMD FreeSync – Yes
Nvidia G-Sync – Compatible
The Dell Alienware AW2521HF is AMD FreeSync certified, but it also supports Nvidia G-Sync, and both work at max refresh rate to deliver the best gaming experience without any problem.
It houses an easy-to-use OSD menu, and the controls for that are at the back. It has plenty of features that include various preset game modes and features like an FPS counter.
Low Blue Light Mode
This monitor has a built-in low blue light mode for viewing visuals in the dark without straining your eyes.
Connectivity & Inputs
Video Inputs 8/10
2x HDMI 2.0
1x DisplayPort 1.2
The video inputs are sufficient. You get dual HDMI ports and a single DisplayPort. We recommend using the DisplayPort for efficiently running the monitor at the max refresh rate.
USB, Other Ports 8/10
4x USB 3.0 (Type-A)
1x USB 3.0 (Type-B)
1x 3.5mm Audio Out (headphones)
1x 3.5mm Audio Out (line-out)
It has plenty of USB ports for connecting accessories, and one of them supports power delivery, so you charge your smartphone or game controller with this monitor.
Two USB ports and the headphone jack are away from the connectivity ports. They are at the bottom, making them easy to reach for everyday use.
Dell Alienware AW2521HF: ConclusionDell Alienware AW2521HF Gaming Monitor
Display5/5 FantasticThis panel is excellent for gaming. There are no artificial tricks for motion handling. It is all hardware.
Design4/5 GoodThe design and appearance are great, and the stand is fully adjustable, but the swivel range is a little bit narrow.
Features3/5 MediocreIt has Adaptive Sync, which should satisfy most gamers, but it does not have a long list of features like LG and ASUS gaming monitors.
- Responsive & Tear-Free Gaming Performance
- Has Adaptive Sync
- Stand is Fully Adjustable
- Plenty Connectivity Ports
- Narrow Swivel Range
- Blacks Appear Gray in Dark